- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Charles County sheriff's officers said a man opened fire on them Friday morning as they attempted to serve a search and seizure warrant at his home in the 4600 block of Gadwell Place in the Lancaster neighborhood of Waldorf.
He has been identified as William Payton Bell, 23.
At 6:39 a.m., police said, Bell came out of the home with a gun, threatening officers. Multiple rounds were fired. He was flown by U.S. Park Police to Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly. He was listed in stable condition.
During a press conference a few hours after the shooting, sheriff's Maj. Robert Cleaveland said that it is a joint investigation with the U.S. Postal Service and the sheriff's office. The warrant is associated with a mail fraud investigation.
Lancaster Circle was shut down for a period of time, and several nearby homes were evacuated.
Ose Quick, who lives in Lancaster, said he woke up to the sound of gunfire.
The sound of automatic weapons firing, he said, “sounded like a bunch of firecrackers.”
He said a neighbor informed him that there was an incident going on up the street. A short time later, Quick heard an officer on a loudspeaker asking that everyone remain inside their homes.
“It's so unusual for the quiet neighborhood,” Quick said.
Lancaster resident Marco Felder said he has been living in the neighborhood for a while and has never heard of anything like this happening in Lancaster.
The commotion caused by Friday's incident caused a disturbance, Felder said, to the otherwise quiet neighborhood.
Felder pointed to a community center and playground nearby, where just a few days ago, the neighborhood came together for a National Night Out celebration.
Lancaster, Felder said, is a very safe neighborhood. He said the sheriff's office patrols the area quite often.
Maj. Joseph “Buddy” Gibson agreed with residents who spoke of Lancaster being a quiet neighborhood.
Gibson said Friday's incident was an “unusual situation.”